Many bars, restaurants, and other venues play digital music using a mix of iPods, laptops, on-demand services, and streaming sites like Pandora. Wouldn’t it be neat if you could control what they played with your smartphone?
You can probably see where this is going… the Finnish company Playmysong offers free iPhone and web apps that allow people to control the music playing in public venues, for free. The company announced on Tuesday its first United States location, the New York rooftop bar Overlook, bringing its total number of worldwide venues to 11.
Patrons can visit a device-agnostic mobile web app at m.playmysong.com to create an account, browse the venue’s music collection, and choose which song to play for free, ensuring that venue owners retain some control over what gets played in their establishments.
Meanwhile, the venue runs a free iPhone app called Playmysong –which you can also use at your own house parties — that lets guests play songs from your phone’s iPod library. An Android version of the venue app is in the works as well.
“From day one, we realized that this is something bigger than just a mobile jukebox,” said PlayMySong co-founder Rami Korhonen. “With Playmysong, you can see in real time who is playing what music in which bar aound you. You can also see what music bars have available, and go to a place that has the music you like the most.”
In addition, the services tweets every song that gets played — a feature that will become more useful if more venues join Playmysong’s pilot program. For instance, the most-recently played song at London’s Bar45bpm was Prins Thomas’s re-edit of Amon Duul II’s “Da Guadeloop,” a request from thurstonm24. From that alone, I can tell I might like that place, because I like Amon Duul II and people who like Thurston Moore.
The service is still a little rough around the edges. I had difficulty creating an account on my phone, and it’s not capable of detecting location, so you need to enter your address manually. However, Playmysong plans to release a new version of the iPhone app, already submitted to Apple, which should solve those problems.
Playmysong has clear appeal for both users and venue, because it music is such a great proxy for taste. I’m not too interested in a venue that plays Garth Brooks, while others might flee from the above Amon Duul II remix, clutching their ears. Regardless of one’s taste, this app increases the chance that you’ll find a place you’ll enjoy — i.e. stick around and spend money.
And Playmysong is free for both patrons and venues. The latter can subscribe for $400 per year to increase their visibility within the system and gain the ability to schedule specific playlists to be available during certain windows of time. Advertisers can get in on the action as well by sponsoring a venue.